Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kudos To Jay King For Story Featuring Avery Bradley's Assist To Ailing Child

Earlier today, as I was sifting through some of the recent Celtics-related news, I came across this great article and video from back on September 4th written by Jay King of about a story that first appeared in the North Providence Valley Breeze.

The story features Avery Bradley and Cedric Maxwell's visit to the home of K.J. Ricci, huge Celtics fan and proud recipient of the Celtics-Re/Max home court makeover contest -- you know, it's the one where the winners get their driveways remade into sweet-looking basketball courts and rooms are decked out in full C's regalia.

Without giving too much of the article away, K.J. is a child seriously ill with an aggressive form of leukemia, which has occurred on top of a rare bone disorder that has required six separate surgeries over the course of the ten short years that he has been alive.

In the video, you can see Bradley (who is dealing with his own adversity since the recent passing of his mother) presenting K.J. with a Celtics jersey featuring the number #13 and "Ricci" on the back, along with one of his own "#0" player jerseys.

As bloggers covering the same subject as hundreds of other bloggers, we can sometimes become too preoccupied with breaking news about the game, its players and all of the minutia surrounding them, but I wanted to take this opportunity to commend Jay for bringing this story to light, along with the North Providence Valley Breeze for breaking it.

You can find the entire story here along with links that take you to K.J.'s FaceBook page and a page where you can make a donation to help defray the spiraling costs of his continuing medical treatment.

Oh, and while we're at it, why don't you go and follow Jay on Twitter here.

Nice work, Jay. Bravo, Sir.

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Hall Of Famer Payton Names Rondo One Of Three True Point Guards

In case you missed it amidst all of your hand-wringing about your fantasy football fails and "pick 'em" faux pas, this little gem from newly minted Hall Of Fame Point Guard Gary "GP" Payton was reported by The Springfield Republican's Tom King via MassLive's Twitter feed:
Gary Payton, a 2013 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and one of the greatest point guards since the ABA/NBA merger, told reporters Saturday that there are only three point guards in the NBA today.

“We don’t really have point guards in the NBA now. We really have (shooting) guards – and that’s a fact,” Payton said. “I think there’s only three true point guards that play like point guards. I think Chris Paul is one, I think (Rajon) Rondo is one, and I think Tony Parker is the other.” 
Payton will be introduced at his enshrinement on Sunday by John Stockton, the NBA’s all-time assists leader. The nine-time NBA All-Star, known as “The Glove,” ranks eighth in career assists with 8,966.
“John Stockton was the hardest player for me to play against because he wouldn’t talk trash,” Payton said. “I could talk to Michael (Jordan) and maybe get under his skin a little, but Stockton never talked back.”
Coming from one of THE preeminent points the game has ever seen, particularly one who holds down the 8th spot all-time in assists, this ought to give Rondo-haters pause the next time they attempt to leave him off the list of top-three PG's (especially for the likes of Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose!).

I've long argued that Rondo is one of the few true points left in the game (and have a running battle with friends about him being THE best today when one considers what the job of a PG is actually supposed to be -- hint: it's not to be the primary scorer), and GP's assessment will only serve to fuel the fire that rages within.

But, that's a post for another time.

For now, let's just take this little bit of love from The Glove, cherish #9 a little bit more and hope that he comes back soon.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Legendary Oscar Schmidt Scores Big At Hall Of Fame Induction

I know I'm dating myself here (now THAT's true self love!), but I have been a fan of the "Brazilian Bird" Oscar Schmidt since he burst upon the international basketball scene back in the late 1970's and through the 80's. He beat the U.S. entry almost singlehandedly in the 1987 Pan Am Games, scoring a whopping 46 points; he averaged 42.3 in the 1988 Summer Olympics; and he became known well enough around the world to only need one name -- "Oscar." Nuff said!
You can check out his Hall of Fame Induction speech here, and I strongly encourage you to do so. In my humble opinion, his was the most entertaining and heartfelt presentation of the day. Oh, and also...Oscar's sponsor into the Hall was a certain well-known green-teamer who was so aptly described by the honoree thusly: "He doesn't run...he doesn't jump, but he plays the best of everyone here." 

But, if you're asking why Oscar's induction is relevant to Greenheadz everywhere, it's not just because his presenter was one Larry Joe Bird (who happened to be one of the three other Celtics hitting the stage in some fashion this year. Bob Cousy, John Havlicek and Bill Walton were the others. Rick Pitino doesn't count cuz he wasn't a "true" Celtic! But, I digress). 

Oscar's induction should be relevant to all because he was one of the best, if not the best, shooters the international game has ever seen...reminiscent of our own "greatest shooter ever," #33, and Celtics fans tend to appreciate great basketball players wherever they might come from and whomever they may have played for.

So, check Oscar out and watch as the Basketball Hall of Fame pays tribute to one of the true greats to have ever played the game.

Okay, fine...if you really want to, you can check out Coach Pitino here, but, if you do that, then you should also watch the rest of the festivities here with Gary Payton, Dawn Staley,  Bernard King, Richie Guerin and the rest.

Friday, September 6, 2013

J.R. Smith Gets Taken To The Hole By Karma

Recently, J.R. Smith followed in the tiny footsteps of fellow New York WhinyBaby Ray Felton by wildly overreacting to a statement made this past summer by new Brooklyn Nets arrival Paul Pierce, who stated that it was "time for the Nets to start running New York."  
 Calling Paul Pierce "bitter", Smith went on to issue a thinly veiled threat that Pierce's words would have "consequences" and that he would have to pay for them.
It now appears that Smith was doing a bit of projecting with his statements as it turns out that he'll be serving a five-game suspension for violation of the NBA's drug policy, which he'll begin upon eligibility to play following rehabilitation after knee surgery. The suspension will also cost him a cool $252,000.
How's THAT for consequenses and paying?
Maybe now the Knicks can eat a nice STFU sandwich and let their actions speak instead of their mouths. 
They won't.
The Boston Celtics/Brooklyn Nets games should be great if for no other reason than nostalgia, but the Nets and Knicks will play four times this Chris Webber loves to say...